Cybersecurity

Dems propose data security bill after Equifax hack

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Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Thursday that would press data broker companies, including recently breached credit report company Equifax, to implement better privacy and security practices.

“We need to shed light on this ‘shadow’ industry of surreptitious data collection that has amassed covert dossiers on hundreds of millions of Americans,” Markey said of his “The Data Broker Accountability and Transparency Act” in a press release.

The Equifax breach gave hackers potential access to the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans. Though best known for credit reports, Equifax is also a data broker, selling the data it amasses to advertisers to aid in targeted advertisements and services.  

{mosads}The bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), would mandate “comprehensive” privacy and security programs at data brokers and allow the public to opt out of having their data included in data sales. 

The FTC would be in charge of enforcement. 

“In the face of ubiquitous online security threats — more pertinent than ever following the Equifax data breach — Congress must act to put the power back in the hands of consumers,” Blumenthal said in the press release. 

Tags Al Franken Ed Markey Richard Blumenthal Sheldon Whitehouse

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